Monday, May 14, 2007

Parenting with Spirit - Collecting Crystals

As a father of four young children I’m always on the lookout for ways to introduce them to the Mystical side of life without going into the darker areas of it in too much detail that might scare them and result in the opposite effect of ‘bringing down the barriers’ rather than opening up to the energy and inspiration of the Light. I guess you could call it Parenting with Spirit.

I’m still finding new ideas each day to encourage the Questioner in them as it is not simply a case of telling them what works for me – they need to develop the skills and tools to find their own path in life. I do not give them books and tell them to read but rather leave most of mine lying around which engages the curiousity which no child can deny J

Children are naturally spiritual and will commune with nature at any opportunity, Jeff Lilly describes this with his own vibrant and colourful style in his beautiful article
‘Children in Paganism’. These three paragraphs taken from that article sum it up far better than I ever could.

Children seem to be born with an innate reverence for nature, which fits right in with pagan belief. They fill their pockets with acorns, oddly shaped rocks, bits of fluff and feathers, and young blossoms — they can feel the raw magic sparking off such things. They can easily sense the quiet awe of a forest, and they are most at ease when surrounded by natural materials — cotton and wool clothing, wooden toys, silk drapes.

They are naturally attracted to seasonal holidays and ritual. They can feel the long, slow, majestic change of the seasons, and they are excited to celebrate their passing. They join in eagerly when an adult thanks the earth, the trees, and the sky, because they can sense the connection viscerally. They love repitition of familiar things, whether it’s a short verse of thanks to the sun as the candles are lit for dinner, or decorating a tree every Winter Solstice. The rituals of paganism are the rhythms of childhood.

And children seem like born polytheists. The world of nearly every child, even those of monotheistic parents, is populated with spirits and guides and gods of all kinds. Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost (to pick few American favorites) are just the tip of the iceberg. My oldest daughter spotted fairies four times on her own while we were still waffling between Zen, agnosticism, and atheism, and one of her best school friends, whose parents are Christian, sees them even more frequently. And all children feel the power and presence lurking in odd corners and nooks in the house… places where adults rarely go, where darkness and silence are allowed to gather. The children can sense the goblins as well as the gnomes.

So what practical ways can you provide the opportunity and space for your children to engage with Spirit? I’d love to hear from you all with any further ideas but in the spirit of ‘BEing the change’ this is the first in a series of articles sharing methods and ideas that I’ve discovered that work well for us. I’ll begin this series with an article on ‘Collecting Crystals.

Collecting Crystals – well collecting anything really but the Crystals work really well. My children have really taken to this side of me and actually save up their money for more crystals. This year we asked them if they wanted Easter Eggs or something else at Easter and yes – you guessed it – they wanted MORE crystals. We bought them all a ‘fishing box’ with lots of little compartments and they spend hours sorting their collections by colour, size and now they’ve done a little reading (or pestered me for the info to be more exact) they categorise them by their healing properties! How wonderful is THAT!

We go shopping each Saturday morning on the market for our weekly fruit and veg and the kids are well behaved and no longer whinge and moan for the plastic rubbish placed in their line of sight – they wait patiently for our brief walk back to the car which passes my friend
‘Crystal Carole’s’ shop to spend their weekly allowance. Its great fun watching them walking around the shop with their hands held over the baskets full of tumble-stones ‘feeling’ the energy for the right crystal.

They really surprise me too – I expected them to go for the big colourful shiny crystals like Magpie’s but they don’t. They take their time and let the crystals choose them. Try it with your kids it’s an amazing time to share and you have the additional benefits of helping them research the stones when you get home, discussing the properties, marvelling at the subtle colours and inflections and encouraging them to meditate and learn to ‘feel’ the Spirit moving through them.

To help them research and discover you’ll have to buy a simple book that they can at a later stage ‘borrow’ from you. I have one called ‘The Illustrated Guide to Crystals’ by Judy Hall that is crammed full of lovely pictures and has a lot of information on the history, use and benefits of crystals – the last 30 pages have photos of over 150 of the basic crystals with a brief description of their healing benefits and properties.

To demonstrate the benefits of children owning and collecting crystals let me complete this article with a true account of what happened the other week. It was Saturday morning and we had been shopping and called in
‘Crystal Carole’s’ as usual. Our two year old son, Mason, is usually OK sitting in his buggy while the kids pick their crystals but for some reason he was very unsettled – fidgeting, moaning and crying.

I asked Carol if there was a crystal that he could have that might settle him and she picked up three medium size pieces of Rose Quartz and offered them to him. He immediately quietened down and took the first piece out of her hand and held it a while. He then gave her that one back and went through the three pieces in turn eventually deciding that the first one he chose was the right one for him. He sat there in his buggy cuddling his crystal very calm and relaxed.

When we got home he was stroking the Rose Quartz saying it was ‘his cat’ and that it was ‘purring’. He played with it for a while and then walked over to a cabinet and put it carefully in a drawer. Ever since he often goes over to the drawer, takes out ‘his cat’, cuddles it awhile and then puts it back in the drawer. If ever he is distressed, over-tired or a little under the weather we give him his Rose Quartz and it always seem to help.

I hope you enjoyed this article and that you are now inspired to take your kids out to your local Crystal Emporium. Look out for further articles in my ‘Parenting with Spirit’ series and if you have any ideas for future articles or would like to share your own hints and tips please do not hesitate to get in touch.

A quick special mention – check out my friend Anita Ryan-Revel’s
Virtual Book Tour as ‘Be the change – tread the Path’ will be joining in the fun on June as a culmination of my Guest Author Series and Parenting with Spirit Series. Visit the sites throughout the tour as there are some amazing prizes on offer as well as some more great sites to browse. First off check out Anita’s site and ‘Reconnect with your inner Goddess’.

Also Crystal Carol informs me that if you send an e-mail via her site she can arrange to meet all your Crystal needs –
see the Contact page here or e-mail crystal.carol@btopenworld.com. I thoroughly recommend her for supreme quality and service. Her site also contains a Directory for further information on crystals and their properties.

Take care and continue BEing the Change,



klm said...

I love reading stories about how you apply spirituality to your day to day life.
Even though I don't have kids, really enjoyed this post!

surjit said...

Quite informative and useful post.Good luck.

Nathalie said...

I did enjoy it very much, this is the way I want to raise my children some day.
So I'm guessing your son can feel the vibrations of the crystal if he says it purrs?
When I was little I came home with pockets full of feathers, but more importantly: flint - I loved it and kept it everywhere - I still do, and I keep my stones and crystals under my pillow now.

Titania Starlight said...

Wonderful post. I love beautiful mystical things that Gaia has created. I believe in their hidden healing attributes. Children are so perceptive of these things.


Garnet said...

I have collected crystals for over 15 years now. I, too, can feel their energies and I have a special box with over 100 of them. It's awesome to read how you've shared this interest with your children and I am awestruck at how they've taken to it. I don't have kids yet but I intend to next year sometime. Now you've inspired me to pass on my love of crystals to my children. Thank you!

Damian said...

Hey guys - BIG Thanks for the comments. I'm always happy to see someone enjoyed the post.

Kara-Leah - Living my tag-line (as Slade tells me) BEing the Change I wish to see. Also the articles I get the most joy from writing as you stated recently in one of your posts :-)

Surjit and Garnet - Nice to see you both on the site and glad you connected. Garnet - you'll make a wonderful parent if you've already got all those play-things, simply let the children find their own paths and you won't go wrong.

Nathalie - I see you've always had that 'connection' with nature and the Spirit within, you'll enjoy your time as a Parent passing on the wisdom and knowledge you've accumalated. And you're spot on with the Vibrations :-)

Titania - Children haven't yet been conditioned and are still connected to Spirit. Their Ego's haven't taken over and they see, hear and feel the magic everywhere.

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